Update Here’s an updated article with the tools I use on Mac OS X.
First, I want to preface this article by saying that this is not just another big list of every web development tool on the internet. This is a list of tools that I rely on for my job as a web developer and I use these tools every day!
This arsenal of web development tools was gathered from my computer at work (Windows XP) and is a little more current than my previous post on tools to get the job done .
- E Text Editor – My favorite text editor. Basically a textmate clone with a few added features. I use this for quick edits, HTML documents and helpful code macros. $30
- Aptana – This is my PHP/HTML/JS/CSS project editor for larger projects. In order to edit PHP, you have to install the PHP plugin. The standalone version is faster than the eclipse plugin version.
- Eclipse – For editing Java and JSP projects.
- Winmerge – Use in conjunction with CVS and SVN to merge and compare files.
- MySQL Browser – Editor for MySQL tables.
- WAMP – Creates a local server with Apache, MySQL and PHP. Some nice features for quickly editing server settings.
- 7zip – Archive extraction (ZIP, RAR, …).
- Filezilla – FTP tool.
- putty – SSH tool.
- Texter – Set up macros to avoid typing the same things over and over.
- Taskbar Shuffle – Allow re-organizing your active taskbar items.
- Pidgin – All-in-one instant messaging. I use it for Google talk, MSN, AIM and Yahoo.
- Hydra IRC – For chatting with other programmers. I hang out in irc.freenode.net, mostly in the room #cakephp.
- Last.fm – Auto creates radio station and has improved drastically. I used to hate the songs that it plays based on my music taste, but now I love them. This is a must have for music lovers.
- Winamp – I use the light version for quickly listening to audio files. It is just so quick, compared to iTunes which is a bloated monster.
- jRuler – Quick measuring tool, I use this constantly to line up my HTML/CSS layouts perfectly with the design documents.
- Multi IE – To master the ways of IE6 you must have this nowadays.
- Firecookie – Use this firebug extension to add cookie debugging, I always wondered why firebug didn’t have this by default.
- Delicious Bookmarks – Instead of putting all my bookmarks in folders, I now use delicious bookmarks toolbar. I can search my bookmarks, tag bookmarks, etc all from a sidebar of my browser.
- Colorzilla – Picking colors is so necessary, and Colorzilla makes it easy to copy colors from web pages into my design programs. My friend, Royal, told me about Pixie because it is browser independent, maybe I will switch to this eventually.
- Fireworks – I recently ditched Photoshop as my main web design tool, because for layouts it is so much faster. The combination of Vector + Bitmap is a nice hybrid tool to get the job done.
- Photoshop – It took me 4+ years to feel like I know this program, but once you learn it you can’t live without it for photo and high-quality bitmap editing.
I hope you’ve found something useful in this arsenal of web development tools. It is amazing that I need so many tools, but everything has its place. Most of these tools are free, and now looking at them in retrospect I should probably go through and donate to each tool’s author. They have made a serious impact on my ability to get things done.